I started YourLife ministries honestly because God told me to. After I get off stage, I run to the merch table and hang out with the fans. Over the years, I started having kids come to the merch table and pour their hearts out to me. Telling me really personal struggles and things they have seen or done and I saw God using me to love on these kids. So one night about 7 months ago, I was in Chicago on tour and God told me that I needed more time to spend with these kids. I really didn’t have enough time at the merch tables so I needed to start a place where we do have enough time. That’s what started the idea, I’ve grown to appreciate my fans and I want to give back to them, especially if they feel they can confide in me.
YourLife Ministries is a unique and very open and accessible site. What motivated you to make you guys available to fans and such? This flies in the face of the whole “I’m a rock star, give me some space” disconnected kind of vibe…
What are some stories that you’ve heard from kids regarding how you’ve had a chance to somehow be a part of them finding God’s help, healing or intervention?
I had a young guy express how my lyrics brought him closer to God, how one of my lyrics are actually in his daily prayer to God. With YourLife Ministries we post blogs about how God is working in our lives and how we use the word of God as a standard of living. We get a lot of comments about how some kids are struggling with the same issues or are thankful that we’ve written about that subject matter. For example, I wrote a blog on prayer and how important it is and how you are able to do it anywhere you’d like! I got a email response back from a kid over in Europe who was told that the only way you could prayer was in the Church and how that is the only place God lives…
What are some changes you’ve seen in the current generation that are perhaps different than the generation before it?
Well to be honest, I don’t know. I think that the older guys need to really start manning up and give the young guns some sort of direction. This generation has a lot of power and strength and I see a lot of go getters, but they need to be leaded properly. It’s so important that the people who have any kind of pull in the eyes of the young generation start taking the lead and providing wisdom and direction. I see the church not necessarily being in a church. Of course I see it this way because I don’t have a church… Touring 9 months out of the year, I make my bunk, van seat, or back bus lounge my church. I make my merch table church, I make the stage my place of worship. God is everywhere and I guess so is my church. I meet up with Pastors and ministers on tour and we have fellowship on the bus, or in the venue. So I actually am seeing a rising of street pastors and ministries… a lot of the places I go are dark places, but I see God everywhere and I think this generation is taking Him to the streets. Not having our savior on a tract or shoving it down anyone’s throats… but taking it to the streets in a sense of outside the church and using the power and glory of God to make any place a church.
How does the band August Burns Red support, accept and promote this new ministry?
The band August Burns Red is glad that I am doing something positive, yet really have nothing to do with YourLife Ministries. It is a desire of my heart more so than a desire of the Band’s. However when I did have the idea of YourLife Ministries, I asked Matt to be apart of it and he was honored to do so.
How does it feel to be in your position as a band?
To be a lead singer of a band is a true blessing. It is my passion and dream to be in this band, and I am so excited to see God working through me in this band. It isn’t easy being away from friends and family, and their is a lot you have to be willing to do in order to live this type of lifestyle. Of course being in these venues everyday has it’s downfalls BUT I know that I am doing something positive for kids, the world and for God. He has blessed me in excess and I am forever thankful for this opportunity.
What are some common things you tell people that ask similar questions? (You know what I mean? Like, if there is a common problem you hear about, what are the common solutions you offer?)
I’m not sure I know how to answer this. ha ha…
Anything else you’d like to add?
I really want people to see how real God is and how much He loves us, how important it is to see that it is a relationship with God not a religion. That He wants a relationship not rituals and traditions. That it is never to late to ask God and His Son into your heart and that everyone is hurt and broken, but that no matter how bad or awful of a person you are that God does love you. He is a forgiving God, a wrathful God, a loving God but most importantly He is the Living God and wants us to have a relationship with His children.
What do you think are some of the chief things to help lift people out of depression?
I think prayer, fellowship, and seeking the proper help are key things to overcome depression. Prayer, I’ve seen God work through prayer so many times.. He personally has delivered me out of struggles through prayer and us having this strong relationship. Fellowship is key because you need friends that will help hold you up, strengthen through words and actions. We are not to walk on earth alone. Seeking Christian Counseling is great as well, God has given these people the gift of healing.. They are here to help strengthen others. Why not seek the people God has set on earth with the proper tools to help fight depression which I believe is a thing not of God but of evil.
Any ways in particular that HM Magazine has somehow encouraged or edified you?
I love HM because it is a magazine that shows people what God is doing in the music industry. How people are using the crazy music industry, the cut-throat industry as a way to show God’s love, and what it’s really like out here as touring musicians. I like reading the articles and I’m a fan of music album reviews! It’s a well rounded magazine and I’m honored to be apart of it with this interview.Thanks to all of you at HM! Keep killing it!
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